American Hotel & Lodging Association Message Following President Biden’s State of the Union Address

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  • American Hotel & Lodging Association Message Following President Biden’s State of the Union Address   

American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) Interim President & CEO Kevin Carey today released the following message after President Biden delivered the 2024 State of the Union Address.

President Biden tonight assured Americans that the state of the union is strong while outlining his administration’s policy priorities to move the economy and our nation forward.

While AHLA’s outlook for the future of the hotel industry is optimistic, hoteliers are facing a number of hurdles at the federal level. These include labor shortages, stubborn inflation, and a host of federal regulations that are tying hoteliers up in red tape. 

That’s why AHLA will continue advocating for hoteliers to solve these problems and keep our industry on an upward path.

AHLA’s top federal advocacy priorities for 2024 include:

Creating a single fee-display standard for all lodging businesses, including hotels, online travel agencies, metasearch sites, and short-term rental platforms:

Fighting multiple federal regulatory efforts that would make it harder for hoteliers to do business, including:

  • The National Labor Relations Board’s joint-employer regulation, which directly targets the franchise model, a business model that has helped restore minority entrepreneurship and job creation across the country. AHLA is engaged in litigation to stop implementation of the rule and is working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to overturn it.
  • The Department of Labor’s proposed overtime-pay regulation that would eliminate hotel jobs, make it more difficult for employees to rise in the ranks, and put small business hoteliers at risk of going out of business. AHLA has filed comments in opposition to this rule.
  • A new Department of Labor regulation that radically changes the way workers are classified as independent contractors or employees. It will limit opportunities for individuals to work as independent contractors and hurt hotels’ ability to maintain operations. AHLA is supporting a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn this rule.

Working to secure fair federal per diem rates for Fiscal Year 2025:

  • AHLA lobbies the General Services Administration annually for fair per diem rates, and we secured a $9 increase to the fiscal year 2024 lodging rate that will generate an estimated $300 million for hoteliers.
  • AHLA will push for another increase in FY 2025 to reflect the realities of persistent inflation.

Urging Congress to address workforce shortages with bipartisan solutions that create opportunities for more workers to enter the American economy, including:

  • Expanding and streamlining the legal H-2B guestworker program. The H-2B program is vital to helping independent hotels and resorts in remote vacation destinations fill seasonal roles, but the program is capped at an inadequate 66,000 visas each year.
  • Passing the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act (S.255/H.R.1325). This bipartisan legislation would help hotels address critical staffing needs by allowing the historic number of asylum seekers already housed in hotels across America to work as soon as 30 days after applying for asylum.
  • Passing the H-2 Improvements to Relieve Employers (HIRE) Act. The bill would expand the H-2A/H-2B labor certification period to three years and permanently authorize the waiver of in-person interviews for returning workers. By growing the pool of seasonal workers, the bill would give seasonal small business hotels critical staffing relief and facilitate the hotel industry’s continued recovery.

Swift passage of H.R. 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, in the Senate:

  • This bipartisan tax package includes vital extensions of business interest deductibility and bonus depreciation – tax policies that support hotels’ ability to weather crises, invest for the future, and compete in a competitive marketplace.
  • The policies in the bipartisan tax package provide a path to certainty at a time when many in the industry are confronting a difficult operating environment.

With your support, AHLA will continue achieving policy victories for hoteliers across the nation and throughout government.

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